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4 Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Hot Tub

4 Easy Ways to Take Care of Your Hot Tub

There’s just something about a hot tub that screams a fun time. Everyone who loves to have fun… knows it. You probably know it, too, and know how true it is.

Plain and simple, people who have hot tubs know how to have fun.  It literally screams “I love relaxing and enjoying life’s greater luxuries.”

Whenever you’ve got a hot tub around, you know it’s going to be a good time. Hot tubs are perfect for a warm summer day after a cool, refreshing swim. And, they’re perfect for those colder days or when you’re just a bitch chilly. (They’re awesome for those times you need an excuse to drink a cocktail in a pit of warm, swirling water.)

Do you want those good times to continue? Then take care of your hot tub. Taking care of a hot tub is almost as hard as taking care of those plants that keep dying on your windowsill.

1. Start with the outside cover

The vinyl cover of hot tub is one of the most important pieces of your wonderful bubbling tub. It’s incredibly important to keep it clean or else you risk dirtying the inside of your hot tub and the overall deterioration of the cover. Nobody wants to sit in a tub of dirty water. Why would you do that to your guests?

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There are three things you’ll need before you start this journey to a clean cover: a very gentle cleaner (so gentle it treats your hot tub like a gem), a sponge, and an oil-free protectant.

Pay careful attention:

  • Start off by spraying the cover with water that’ll take off the surface dirt and gunk.
  • After the water runs off, take your sponge and gentle .. and start scrubbing the cover until you see the gross stuff vanish before your very eyes.
  • Use the protectant to give your cover a little extra protection.

And there you have it! You have mastered the art of cleaning your hot tub cover. Now for the rest…

2. Keep a consistent schedule

If there’s one thing that’s true about hot tub maintenance, it’s this: If you don’t have a consistent schedule of when you’re going to clean your hot tub, it will never be clean. Unless we’re already used to sticking to schedule, sticking to one is harder than pulling hen’s teeth.

That’s why I want you to raise your right hand and repeat after me:

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I solemnly swear…that I will make a hot tub cleaning schedule…and stick to it for as long as I live.

Great! So here’s a good example of a schedule you can use – just adjust it for your daily life!

  • At least once a day: check your spa cover and clean if necessary, check and adjust water temperature, and make sure there’s no obvious damage.
  • At least 3 times a week: adjust sanitizer levels and check those all-important pH levels.
  • At least once a week or every two weeks: clean the spa filters.
  • Monthly: do a deep cleaning of your tub cover and clean your cabinet.
  • Every three months: fully drain and deep clean your tub.
  • Cover up your tub when you’re not using it.

This one is a pretty simple one to implement on your hot tub… Would you leave your front door open when you left to go shopping?

Would you leave your car window open when you know there’s going to be a huge storm in a couple hours? Of course not.

Whether you use your hot tub frequently or not, it’s smart to put the protective cover on it. I mean… you can keep it uncovered… if you don’t mind constantly cleaning the hot tub from all the mess that’ll fall into it.

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3. Test your hot tub regularly

It’s not all fun and games when it comes to hot tubs. Oh no. You may think all you need to do is buy a hot tub and then you’re good to go. You think wrong, my friend.

Installing your hot tub and taking care of it doesn’t just involve cleaning out gunk and dirt. You also have to check the water inside to make sure it is clean and safe.

There are three main ways to do this. The first is to use test strips, which you can purchase at any hot tub or pool maintenance store. These will check for pH, chlorine/bromine, and alkalinity. Just take a sample of water from the middle of the hot tub (very important to get an accurate sample), dip your strip in, and test the colors that come out with the color swatches on the bottle. And wah-lah! You’ve tested your hot tub.

The second way is to use a liquid test kit. It’s basically no different from the process of the test strips; you’ll just use some extra materials that come in the kit.

The third way that you should do at least once a month is to have it checked out by your hot tub dealer. Collect a sample like in the previous steps and immediately take it to your hot tub dealer for testing. He or she has a sort of crystal ball for hot tubs. They can tell you a lot of different things about your water that the above tests couldn’t tell you. Pretty cool!

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4. Watch out for what chemicals you use in the tub

It’s incredibly important to keep an eye on what kind of chemicals and sanitizers you add into your hot tub. After checking the pH levels, bromine/chlorine, and alkalinity levels in the last step, you’ll know what you need to add to your hot tub water to put everything back into order and in tip-top shape.

No one wants to have hot tub water that’s cloudy or gunky, or filled with bacteria. Otherwise, your neighbours will forever know you as “dirty hot tub.” How embarrassing! I’d never want anyone to think that about me. Would you?

Conclusion

There you have it! You are now an expert at hot tub cleaning and maintaining it as a pro. Give yourself a pat on the back and then go have a relaxing cocktail in your sparkling tub. After all, it’s an investment, and those are worth protecting for decades to come.

Featured photo credit: via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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